Do I have time for a selfie?

New Yorkers love themselves ... who can blame them?

The selfie phenomenon.

All the way from Istanbul, to Buenos Aires, to one horse towns and villages all over the world. It’s here. And it’s here to stay.

From the young to the elderly, from blue-collar workers to the Commander-in-Chief.
The selfie taking practice is being embraced by all. So much in fact, we can’t but wonder if it confirms we’re a narcissistic society.

Looking over my son’s shoulder as he browsed through Facebook this morning, I couldn’t help noticing the dozens of selfies of his young friends. Young women, in an array of poses, ranging all the way from the “head cocked to the side” position, to the “OMG, is this still going on?” duck lips.

Later today, just seconds after I posted my own selfie to Instagram, I pondered the reasons that motivate us to share our mug with, for the most part, strangers.

Do we do it as a way of recruiting external validation, or does vanity propel us to use the selfie to document our beauty?

Were these selfies to be unedited and “au naturel,” perhaps the subject wouldn’t bother me.

Yet, looking at my own Instagram selfie, edited with various filters and a blur effect, I realize we aren’t presenting our “true” selves to the world.

The selfie appears to be another way to conform to society’s definition of beauty; one whose sad message is that you’re only beautiful if you look a certain way.

“Not everything is motivated by the evils of society, mom,” chided the Son when I broached the subject at the dinner table. “Sometimes,” he said, “a selfie is just a selfie.”

But is it? Thinking back to the heavily edited selfies I saw this morning, I’m not so sure.

In all fairness, I’m certain there are those who take selfies for the sake of documenting a bad hair day. Others might take them to evidence what they look like at a certain age.

Yet the fact that so many of us partake in the selfie phenomenon raises the question of, do we need others to tell us we’re beautiful?

And that makes me sad.

Sad because, even words like “You’re beautiful,” aren’t going to help if we don’t believe it ourselves.

Sad because we may always depend on someone to validate us.

Sad because we are placing so much importance on physicality and so little on what truly establishes our worth.

Sad because the majority of selfies aren’t true representations of what we really look like.

Sad because in hiding behind an edited selfie, we fail to show the world our true beauty, complete with enlarged pores and imperfections.

We may not be able to stop the selfie phenomenon, but we can refuse to play by the rules of peers, society, and our own insecurities.

We can turn the selfie on its head and instead, use it as a tool to affirm, “This is me. This is what I truly look like and I am beautiful.”

Inspired by my sister, who posted a selfie of her beautiful, unedited self on Facebook, I took a selfie tonight.

No make up.
No edits.
Just me.

Join me in the effort to turn this phenomenon into something positive by posting your own beautiful unedited selfie.

Let us effect positive change in how the world defines beauty.

Show the world the beauty that is you!



Note: If you post a selfie, please leave a link in the comments section so other readers can see it.

I would love it if you followed me on Instagram. You can do so by clicking on this link or the icon located on the sidebar!

Peekaboo. Do I see you?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Crazy George

The aging process.

Some of us dread it.
Some of us embrace it.
And some of us are unsure if it’s a good thing or not.

Nevertheless, it’s like death–there’s no avoiding it.

The aging process.

We want to believe that when it arrives, we’ll be ready.

Until the day we spot it.
Laying there.
Trying to camouflage itself, yet failing miserably.

One gray hair.

Not an army, mind you.
Just one.
That’s all it takes before we go into full panic mode.

We start to question where time has gone.
We calculate how many days before our next birthday.
We pull out a magnifying glass and search every square inch of our face.

One gray hair.

Its discovery unleashes the monster.
Opens Pandora’s box.
Sends us on a downward spiral.

We look up “old” friends on Facebook to see if they look younger.
We cross our fingers, say a prayer, and try to strike a deal with the powers that be so they may look older.
A lot older.

We buy expensive face creams.
Hoping they’ll do away with the effects of time.
That they’ll do away with the crow’s feet.

We question whose idea it was to call them crow’s feet.
We curse whoever it was and wish we could turn back the clock.

To reverse the all-nighters.
The late night partying.
The one drink too many the night we celebrated whatever it was we were celebrating.

We look in the mirror.
We realize that while we’re losing the hair on our head, we’ve started to grow a mustache.

We place a pencil under a breast to see if it’s still perky.
We realize we can easily fit a box of twelve.

We become aware that our gums are receding.
That our joints hurt.
That our ass is sagging.
That it’s only a matter of time before someone tell us we’re more wrinkled than an elephant’s scrotum.

We notice our fingernails have stopped growing but our toenails keep growing.
That we can’t bend down to trim.
Or shave our legs.
We find it easier to let everything below our waist grow until it can grow no more.

We realize that movie stars our age are cast in the role of grandmothers.
Or great-grandmothers.
Or great-great-grandmothers.

We wake up to the fact that we have trouble getting up after sitting for too long.
That we can’t cross our legs without a muscle spasm.
That we easily lose our balance.

We forget the neighbor’s name
We confuse our children’s names.
We realize there are days we can’t remember our own names.

We realize that if we were to answer people truthfully when they asked how we are, we’d have to utter the word “constipated.”

We lose the ability to lose weight.
We’re too tired to exercise.
We become indifferent to the state the house is in.
We stop buying lingerie and start to think granny panties have gotten a bad rap.

One gray hair.

That’s all it takes before our world falls apart.
Before we realize that youth is slipping from our fingers.
Never to be recovered.
CPR’d back to life.
No need to get the paddles and shout, “Clear!”

Middle age has found us.
There’s nowhere to hide.

Do we embrace it or pretend we don’t see it?

One gray hair.

For today, I’ll color it and happily stay in a state of denial.
I never saw it.
It was never there.

Are you ready to embrace middle age?

Why exactly are we calling a bikini a fatkini?

I love fashion blogs.

I know this may surprise you, considering how much I say I love pajama pants.

But the truth is, I love fashion.

Not in the “Sex in the City” kind of way, but more like in the “fashion is self expression” kind of way.

Because to me, that’s what fashion is: the ability to express who you are in a personal and meaningful way.

Reading fashion blogs allows me to envision myself dressed in the styles of the lovely ladies whose fashion sense I admire.

I’m inspired to try fashion trends like floral jeans, peplum tops, and neon colors.

And when I spot a fashion trend I don’t have the courage to try, I live vicariously through the daring women who step out in style and blog about it.

Now that summer is here, I’m delighted to see many of my favorite fashion bloggers sporting bikinis.

I am especially pleased to see many women showing off their curves, undaunted by the fact that they don’t have what society deems a “bikini ready body.”

These women, confident in their skin and convinced they are beautiful, are my heroes.

They are who I look up to as I continue on the journey to lose my insecurities and feel comfortable in the body I am in.

Gabi Gregg is one of the fashion bloggers I admire.

She has recently been making waves with a bikini post that has gone viral.

Fearless, beautiful, and self confident, she is truly a sister worth emulating.

When I first saw Gabi’s bikini post, I cheered.

But not before I swooned when I saw her gorgeous vintage inspired two piece.

For the first time in twenty one years after giving birth to the Son, I envisioned myself wearing something similar to Gabi’s two piece.

However, there was something in Gabi’s post that burst my bubble: the fact that she called her bikini a “fatkini.”

A fatkini?


I was disappointed at what appeared to be another example of labeling.


The term alone implies that it’s a two piece for fat women.

It would appear that “bikini” as in, a two piece suit, seems insufficient for full figured women, and thus, it is necessary to create a more literal term.

This makes me wonder why some women feel the need to adopt terms like “fatshion,” or “fatkini.”

Is it because we find that it sets us apart from the skinny girls; that it award us our own little club or clique?

If you ask me, terms like these only serve to make a distinction between those who are fat and those who aren’t.

In her recent post, Gabi promotes a clip of her appearance on the Today show.

In the interview, she’s asked if she thinks she’s promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Gabi replies, “I’m not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle. I think people should be aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and be more active. The truth is be happy with your bodies we have right now.”

While I found Gabi’s answer to be acceptable, I wanted to hear a different reply.

I wanted to hear her question why it is that when fat women wear a bikini, it’s seen as way to promote obesity, but when thin, emaciated women grace the covers of fashion magazines, it’s not seen as a way of promoting eating disorders.

I wanted to hear that being fat doesn’t necessarily equate being unhealthy, the same way that being thin doesn’t automatically signify being healthy.

I wanted to hear that women wearing bikinis, regardless of their size, are just that, women in bikinis.

I find that if we really want to empower women and promote self confidence, we have to lose the labels.

The word fat used to induce fear.

Anyone daring to use it was crossing the line, being offensive, being politically incorrect.

Fortunately, many fat people are battling the word’s negative stigma saying, “We’re fat and so what?”

Nevertheless, is it really necessary to label ourselves fat?

After all, it’s not like skinny people walk around saying, “My name is so and so and I’m skinny.”

The way I see it, any woman, regardless of her size or shape, should feel free to wear whatever she wants and feels comfortable in.

Without having to rename a bikini a “fatkini.”

And surely without having to affirm, “I’m a fat girl in a bikini.”

It should simply be enough to say, “I’m a woman in a bikini.”

Enough said.

How do you feel about the term “fatkini”?